Is Global Basic Income Possible?
There’s been a theory flying around the financial and economic world that may affect all of our futures and careers if practiced. It is called the Helicopter Money Theory, and it goes something like this; there’s a little town with a steadily growing population, and while the local money press keeps printing money, there are not enough notes to finance the town’s population’s demands. As the growing population requires more consumer goods (that manufacturers continue producing) the population is eventually starved of financing their habits. Rising inflation due to continued demand eventually prevents the people from spending money.
This ultimately results in manufacturers losing profit and raising prices to cover costs. The town is incapable of growing financially, and the town becomes poverty stricken. To counter this situation the town’s mayor instructs that all resources should go toward printing more money. This lump sum of money is then loaded onto a helicopter and dropped on the town. Let’s say, hypothetically, that every denizen was dropped an equal share of ‘free’ money, to do with as they please. They then go about using this money to fuel their needs and demands, increasing business profits and raising wages. From this simple cash injection, provided once a month by the government that can afford to portion a certain amount of money toward this ‘Basic Income’, the town regains preponderance and financial success.
Real World Application
The Helicopter Money Theory uses the small town as a symbolic representation of the global economy. Understandably, there are a vast number of factors that make the globe entirely different from the little town, but the basic ideas remain the same; the globe has too many people, the means to satisfy the needs of the people, but not enough money to go around.
So, can introducing a universal basic income work? Well, many theorists and experts believe that it is entirely possible, and will actually alleviate many of the financial problems experienced in the modern state. Apart from eliminating poverty, the basic income will also mean that states do not have to devote attention toward providing welfare measures. The markets (and associated businesses) will also benefit, as now everyone has the opportunity to purchase those items that they demand most. The increase in demand will result in an increase in competition, and this is believed what will keep costs down instead of prices inflating .
But what about all the freeloaders? Yes, there are expected to be freeloaders, but studies indicate that instead of working on a reward-punishment based financial system (as present), people are likely to work harder for additional income as a stimulus to a basic package. Additionally, businesses are unable to take advantage of staff who actually have the safety net of a basic income on hand. Studies also indicate that people are likely to perform better, as they are likely to work fewer hours, take leave more often and take advantage of sick leave when they are ill. The basic income will assist in alleviating the common problem experienced nowadays, where staff are working too many hours, which is detrimental to their performance.
For staff with tertiary education and skills-based careers, the basic income theory is likely to increase the demand for university graduates within the job market. As the demand for production increases, and the means of production at all people’s fingers, everyone can empower themselves.
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